Los Angeles Lakers rout Utah Jazz at home, 96-85
NBA: In a game that seemed to be choking the Lakers fans in anticipation of the end result of the match, Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz, 96-85, at Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah, on 1st April.
Experiencing an early first half offence from the opposition, the Lakers launched a better defense in the second half, to give them a tough time after the break, resulting in a win.
Kobe Bryant, named NBA’s player of the Month of the Western Conference, led the winning team with 21 points, with five rebounds and four assists in 30 plus minutes. The NBA All-Star was limited to just 6 for 12 shooting from the field and had to suffice
with 7 of 10 free throws in the win. Pau Gasol contributed 16 points plus eight rebounds on a 6 for 10 overall shooting.
After gaining possession of the ball, Bryant initiated the game with a 3-pointer to take a 3-0 lead as the game commenced. Earl Watson was successful in sealing a shot from the long range after a number of missed shots to make the score 3-3 on the 10:16
mark of the first quarter. Triggering early offence, the Black Mamba notched two of three free throws to go ahead with 5-3 but C.J. Miles would not give up. The player shot his first to snatch the lead and equalize at 5-5. Soon Utah was outscoring the Lakers.
The Jazz starters launched their shots and sealed a 28-22 lead over the Lakers before the end of the first quarter.
The Utah Jazz went on a 12-2 run at the start of the second quarter to make life even more difficult for the Lakers who saw deficit of six points transforming into 17 points with a 41-24 score. The Lakers shielded the ball in the next possession, launching
a 12-2 run that cut the deficit short and led them to the locker room with less pressure with a final score, 42-48.
Utah dominated the Lakers until Derek Fisher’s three-pointer tied the score at 62-62. Then forth, the Lakers surpassed the Jazz who were leading moments ago. Lakers’ Lamar Odom notched a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter to take a 71-64 score,
7 points lead, into the final quarter.
The Lakers went all through in the final quarter with a tirade of shots to dominate the Jazz. Jazz players failed to make any impact in the final round as Lakers had done enough damage in the third quarter by outscoring them, 29-16. Utah missed all three
of their three-pointer chances in the final quarter and hit insufficient shots that resulted in a 96-85 loss at home.
Miles scored a game high of 24 points in the loss whereas Al Jefferson had 17 points with 10 rebounds for the losing team.